Tyriq Horsford created history at the Pascual Guerrero Stadium in Cali, Colombia, yesterday, becoming Trinidad and Tobago’s first-ever Junior Pan American Games medallist.
Horsford hurled the spear 71.33 metres in the sixth and final round of the men’s javelin competition to snatch bronze from the grasp of Ecuador’s Jean Mairongo (70.41m). Brazilians Pedro Henrique Rodrigues and Luiz Mauricio da Silva finished one-two. Rodrigues was golden at 74.41m, while da Silva threw 71.35 to secure silver.
Horsford told the Express he was very pleased with his historic hurl.
“It’s a good feeling, especially knowing that I’m not fully prepared because I’m in my off-season. I can only go up from here. Hopefully the other athletes can follow suit, and add gold to our medal tally.”
Horsford opened the competition with a 66.58m throw, the effort placing him in third spot. The Tobago thrower fouled in round two and slipped to fourth. He followed up at 68.35 in the third round and improved to 68.95 with his fourth throw.
Horsford was back in third ahead of the fifth round, but could only manage 66.45m and was forced into fourth, da Silva’s 71.35m effort earning the Brazilian second spot, going into the final round. Horsford saved his best for last, throwing 71.33 to grab bronze. Just two centimetres further, and the Mississippi State University student would have claimed silver. But with T&T getting onto the medal table at the inaugural Junior Pan Am Games, there was no room for disappointment.
“My distance was actually pretty good,” said Horsford. “It was my furthest throw for the off-season. This shows a lot is going for us. Hopefully I can capitalise, put it into a full package, and throw how I’m supposed to next season. I want to qualify for Commonwealth Games and World Championships.”
T&T throws coach Ismael Lopez Mastrapa told the Express he was impressed with Horsford’s performance at Cali 2021.
“The javelin was flying bad,” the Cuban-born coach explained. “I told him to change the javelin for the last throw, and you see the result. It was great. We’re happy for the first medal for Trinidad and Tobago. I’m very satisfied with his performance. It was great.”
Horsford said he enjoyed yesterday’s competition.
“I was able to use my experience, and also with the guidance of my coach here I was able to pull off a good throw. I was under no pressure.
“There’s more to come,” 21-year-old Horsford continued. “I’ll continue to work diligently to perfect my craft. I hope to reach the world stage and continue to excel at that level.”
At press time, last night, T&T’s Anson Moses was competing in the men’s decathlon. Five disciplines were contested yesterday, and five more are on the schedule for today, starting with the 110m hurdles at 4pm (T&T time). The men’s long jump—featuring T&T’s Kelsey Daniel and Clement Campbell Jr.—also gets going at four.
Late on Monday, T&T swimmer Nikoli Blackman clocked a personal best 23.47 seconds to win the men’s 50m freestyle “B” final. His teammate, Zarek Wilson was fourth in 23.79. Overall, Blackman and Wilson finished ninth and 12th, respectively.
Yesterday, Blackman returned a time of 17 minutes, 02.08 seconds for fifth spot in race one of the men’s 1500 free. Another T&T swimmer, Graham Chatoor competed after press time in race two.
Gabriela Donahue finished third in heat two and ninth overall in the women’s 200m individual medley in 2:25.29.
Chatoor, Kael Yorke, Blackman and Wilson combined for a 4:03.05 swim in the men’s 4x100m medley relay. The T&T quartet finished fifth in heat one and 10th overall.
On Monday night, T&T cyclist Tariq Woods finished fifth in the men’s keirin 7-12 final to secure 11th spot overall in the event. Earlier, he was sixth in his second round heat. Woods had advanced by earning the runner-up spot in the opening repechage heat. The other T&T rider, Zion Pulido was eliminated after finishing fourth in the second repechage race.